Sunday, 12 November 2017

12th November 2017 Cayambe Coca track, Papallacta and Guango Lodge

Today dawned clear and fine with good views of the surrounding mountainsides, ridges and peaks. We'd originally intended driving to the Papallacta antennas to search for Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe but the lure of the Crescent-faced Antpitta proved too tempting to resist. Unfortunately the gate to the track to the Cayambe Coca reserve at Termas de Papallacta was securely padlocked until 8.30am so we spent time birding the road between there and our Hosteria that produced the localised Superciliaried Hemispingus. Our walk to the Antpitta site produced views of a Paramo Tapaculo in response to playback but always too brief for me to photograph it. Whilst trying to tape lure the Crescent-faced Antpitta a superb Rufous Antpitta decided to check me out but sadly there was no response from the Crescent-faced Antpitta this morning. We drove up to the ranger station at the far end of the track but failed to find either of the hoped-for high-elevation species of Mountain-Tanager although a Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager seen in a mixed-species flock on our return back down the track initially caused some excitement. Walking beyond the ranger station we found a female Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, that whilst exciting, left us wishing we'd been bedazzled by a male! Our time at this site had expired all too quickly and it is easy to imagine that in spending a week here it would keep producing new species daily. We returned to our hosteria, collected our luggage and made the short drive downhill to Guango Lodge where we were greeted by Irene Bustante. We were soon enjoying views of the Chestnut-breasted Coronets but the show-stoppers were the Sword-billed Hummingbirds attending the lodge's busy Hummingbird feeders. A pair of Northern Mountain Caciques moved through the trees overhead. We then decided to walk to the river footbridge and return to the lodge via the aptly named Torrent Duck Trail bordering the river along which we found a pair of Torrent Ducks jumping in and out of the rapids and several more Caciques. Irene then arranged for Gabriel to take us to some flowers along the Waterfall trail that are sometimes frequented by Mountain Avocetbill. Gabriel considered that between 5pm and 6pm was a good time to see the species and left us to it but our two hour vigil from 4pm only produced several views of a Long-tailed Sylph and a Mountain Velvetbreast. In the evening we met three enthusiastic young Ecuadorian birders who were returning from Gareno Lodge who warned us that the juvenile Harpy Eagle was getting increasingly restless flying around its nest tree and they expected it to leave any day - not really the news that we wanted to hear!

Torrent Duck 2
Andean Teal 4
Variable Hawk 1
Speckled Hummingbird 1
Shining Sunbeam 3
Mountain Velvetbreast 3
Great Sapphirewing 1 female
Collared Inca 1
Buff-winged Starfrontlet 2
Sword-billed Hummingbird 4
Buff-tailed Coronet 4
Tourmaline Sunangel 4
Viridian Metaltail 1
Long-tailed Sylph 2
White-bellied Woodstar 4
Powerful Woodpecker 1
Pearled Treerunner 2
Rufous Antpitta 1
Cinnamon Flycatcher 1
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant 1
Turquoise Jay 4
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush 1
Great Thrush 6
Brown-bellied Swallow c.15
Grass (Sedge) Wren 6
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Canada Warbler 1
Spectacled Whitestart 6
Black-crested Warbler 3
Citrine Warbler 4
Russet-crowned Warbler 1
Cinereous Conebill 2
Blue-backed Conebill 1
Masked Flowerpiercer 1
Black Flowerpiercer 6
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager 1
Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager 1
Grey-hooded Bush-Tanager 1
Black-backed Bush-Tanager 4
Black-capped Hemispingus 2
Superciliaried Hemispingus 1
Pale-naped Brush-Finch 3
Rufous-collared Sparrow c.15


Brown-bellied Swallow at Papallacta

Grass (Sedge) Wren at Papallacta

Brazilian Rabbit at Papallacta

Black-crested Warbler at Papallacta

Black Flowerpiercer at Papallacta

Superciliaried Hemispingus at Papallacta

Bromeliads along the Cayambe Coca track, Papallacta

Rufous Antpitta along the Cayambe Coca track, Papallacta
I've only previously seen this superb species with JFC in Podarcarpus NP in 1994 when they proved one of the highlights of our trip and it was again easy to appreciate why!

looking back along the valley towards Papallacta from the  Cayambe Coca ranger station - the Antpittla track just being visible along the base of the valley

Shining Sunbeam along the Cayambe Coca track, Papallacta

Female Great Sapphirewing along the Cayambe Coca track, Papallacta

Female Rainbow-bearded Thornbill above the Cayambe Coca ranger station

Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager along the Cayambe Coca track, Papallacta
Another species I'd only seen with JFC 23 years ago

Female Sword-billed Hummingbird at Guango Lodge
Yet another species only previously seen in 1994 when it too proved a highlight of our trip

Buff-tailed Coronet at Guango Lodge

Chestnut-breasted Coronet at Guango Lodge

Northern Mountain Cacique at Guango Lodge

Cinnamon Flycatcher at Guango Lodge

Turquoise Jay at Guango Lodge

Pearled Treerunner at Guango Lodge

Grey-hooded Bush-Tanager at Guango Lodge

Black-capped Hemispingus at Guango Lodge

Canada Warbler at Guango Lodge

Rio Guango

Pair of Torrent Ducks at Guango Lodge

Female Torrent Duck at Guango Lodge

Drake Torrent Duck at Guango Lodge